"I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Saudi Ministry on the G20 Climate and Energy track, specifically in the Energy Sustainability Working Group. It has been fascinating to watch the various interests of the other G20 members come forth in these discussions. The Working Groups have been able to attract a wide range of participants, all of exceptionally high quality and depth. It is personally very motivating and rewarding to know I’m playing a small part in the circular carbon economy solution for the Kingdom."
“As KAUST faculty, I found in the support I have been providing to the Saudi Presidency of the G20 in the Climate and Environment tracks, a great avenue to deliver on the expectation for KAUST to support the development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On a more personal level, and provided the historic significance of the inaugural Saudi presidency of the G20, I have also found in this engagement a path towards giving back to the Kingdom through my efforts, in terms of the hospitality and support my family and I have enjoyed since we arrived to KAUST six years ago.”
"The G20 offered an incredible platform to showcase some of the extraordinary research being undertaken at KAUST, and around the world, that is focused on addressing some of the world's major climate related challenges. Being part of high-level discussions, and seeing first hand how science can inform and shape international policy, further highlighted the key role that research needs to play in delivering a sustainable future."
“Getting to play an active role in the G20 has been an eye-opening experience. As scientists, we tend to isolate ourselves from policy and implementation. Being able to see and understand the full picture has not only contributed to my personal development, but I am sure will help my future research.”
“Working with international leaders and policy makers in the G20 was a rewarding experience. My role as co-lead of the Sustainable Mobility track in the Climate and Sustainability Working Group (CSWG) provided opportunities to carve pathways for clean fuels and efficient mobility solutions towards a sustainable low carbon future.”
KAUST's contribution to the G20 focuses on one of the three main G20 aims, namely Safeguarding the Planet. Together with colleagues from around the globe, our University pursues concrete actions to safeguard the world's commons by participating in the Energy Sustainability and Climate Stewardship working groups. The working groups establish a dialogue between stakeholders such as the G20 member countries and different international organizations, as they complement the negotiations and ministerial meetings.
Already before Saudi Arabia took over the G20 presidency from Japan in 2019, KAUST professors have been engaged in developing the concepts for theG20 programs, by collaborating with the Saudi Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.
In the run-up to the G20 Leaders' Summit of 2020, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosts regular meetings with international experts in the field, including several KAUST professors. They are actively involved in four out of seven priority areas for the Energy Sustainability and Climate Stewardship working groups; Cleaner Energy Systems for a New Era, Managing Emissions - Implementing the Circular Carbon Economy, Adaptation - Contribution to Global Solutions and Holistic Approach to Sustainable Mobility. Our KAUST professors have been highly active in writing the concept notes as well as planning the workshops and working group meetings for these areas. The University likewise contributed to developing the priority areas for the Digital Task Force through the efforts of professors and experts Donal Bradley, Slim Alouini, Boon Ooi, Xiangliang Zhang, Mootaz Elnozahey, Basem Shihada, Tareq Al-Naffouri and Jeff Shamma.
The KAUST senior leadership is grateful to its professors who are taking up important roles in these endeavors. They highly value the commitment several of the University’s thought leaders made to this project. With their strong input based on scientific insights, they emphasize KAUST's significant role in the global scientific field.
Remarkable contributions have come from professors and experts Carlos Duarte (priority area lead of Adaptation - Contribution to Global Solutions), Bill (William) Roberts (priority area co-lead of Cleaner Energy Systems for a New Era), Jorge Gascon (priority area co-lead of Managing Emissions - Implementing the Circular Carbon Economy), Mani Sarathy (priority area co-lead of Holistic Approach to Sustainable Mobility), Matthew McCabe, Mohamed Eddaoudi, Kevin Cullen and Mark Tester.
The members of the University’s Executive Committee overseeing our G20 engagement are our President, Dr. Tony Chan; Vice President of Research, Prof. Donal Bradley; and Senior Associate to the President and Vice President of Strategic National Advancement, Dr. Najah Ashry.
Prof. David Keyes and Dr. John Tannaci of the President’s Office were instrumental in shepherding our G20 efforts at the outset, and they continue to provide assistance as needed.
Illustrative numbers of KAUST’s contribution to the G20
Working Group meetings